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Airbus fined in Taiwan, investigated in Germany

Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Airbus has been fined 104 million euros in Taiwan over a 1992 missile sale to Taiwan by a company that later joined the European planemaking group. The French-based company is also in discussions with German prosecutors over corruption allegatins.

Airbus, which this week agreed to sell China 184 A320 planes by 2020, announced on Saturday that it had been ordered to pay the fine for "breach of contract concerning the sale of missiles".

The missile sale was made by Matra before it joined the Airbus group in 1998.

Matra Defence SAS said it was "studying the fine and evaluating next steps", the statement said.

Airbus also said it was in discussions with Munich prosecutors over suspicions of corruption in the sale of Eurofighter jets to Austria.

In February Austria sued Airbus over a 2003 Eurofighter sale, seeking up to 1.1 billion euros in damages.

The company may close the case by paying 80-90 million euros, thus avoiding going to court, according to Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung daily.

The paper says investigators are having difficulty establishing who received "at least 80-90 million euros" paid through front companies.

But they are threatening to sue several previous Airbus executives for misappropriation of corporate assets.

Airbus boss Tom Enders, who will not seek to stay in his job when it comes up for renewal in 2019, is the subject of an Austrian inquiry over the same case.

He headed the company's defence arm at the time of the sale.

Airbus is due to announce its results for 2017 on Monday.